Waiting for today...: A Time to Regress

Sunday, November 16

A Time to Regress

Statue of a Hawaiian girl in the The Aloha Tower Marketplace, Honolulu Hawaii

I’ve alluded to the fact that I was an avid reader as a child. And before moving back to the states I had an impressive book collection. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity to bring it with me. And when my grandma died I was told nothing about the fate of those books. I just wondered, and still do, about what became of my collection.

The first few groups I tried to fit into once I returned home was short of avid readers. If there were others they did not make themselves known. Perhaps they were more worried more about fitting in like I was. Whatever the case, I was thankful for the few that did share my interest.

Although the first friend I made entering elementary school had a few unpleasant personality traits, she was also a reader. We often read the same book and would have competitions to see who could finish it first. There was another friend, in middle school that had an interest in reading and collecting comic books. And finally, there was my friend in high school. Even though she favored the romance novels and I took a liking to thrillers and horror, we would take time away from the group to bond at the library.

Somewhere along the way, between the Bahamas and now... between the pages of school books and an overwhelming need to fit in even at the expense of my own identity, I lost interest in leisure reading.  And each time I felt a hint of a spark returning, it would be squelched by guilt. Guilt would tell me that I couldn’t afford to waste my life in a book. Or, “you’re a professional now; you ought to be reading nursing journals or manuals”.  And my personal favorite: “if you can’t set aside time to read the bible you shouldn’t be reading anything else”.

One of my favorite places to go when I cut school as a teen was the bookstore. I would grab a book from the bookshelf and find myself a little corner. It was one of just a few moments of peace I found in those days. I would forget about the mounting tensions at home. I would forget about the misery incited by my peers in the classroom. It was an opportunity to forget about my life.

As I reach back into my past to identify the starting point of my many complexes, including my guilt monster and my insistence on punishing myself, I am also searching for that little girl that was once content and full of wonder. Before she was dejected, she showed me how to enjoy the simple things in life and she was always ready for an adventure.  And when she couldn’t create her own, she found it in a book.